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  • Writer's pictureEbrima Janneh (EB)

Commentary: The Gambia's Politic of Selfishness, lack of Principle and a Cult of Greed

The Gambia is in an awful, increasingly frightening mess because its politics and system of power remain stuck in the past. Based around an antiquated and centralised government, much of which was built during the colonial days, that now barely functions. 

Gambian President Adama Barrow

With this, like former president Yahya Jammeh, it seems president Barrow increasingly embody the bitter polarised nature of politics.

At a time when the Gambian politics is riven by bitterness, President Barrow, with regret, is not measured to the dreams of the “New Gambia” post dictator Jammeh.

Instead of relentlessly focusing on delivering for the country, Barrow retreats to a mad house of ridicules, corruption, and pits one group against another.

Running out of credibility and ideas, Barrow has become a master in stocking up division to mask his own failures to deliver. 

He and his political party are determined to carry on down this ruinous path, setting neighbour against neighbour and tribe against tribe in pursuit of their narrow political interests.

While the rising cost of living is a scandal in contemporary Gambia, the surge of inflation belie hopes that this would be a temporary inconvenience.

Illegal migration through dinghy boats is killing our young people at an alarming rate. The total collapse of our health system renders many people seeking treatment overseas or dying of preventable illnesses in the Gambia. 

On the back of these artificial bottlenecks, the government’s estimated budget for 2024, supported by most Members of Parliament, is going to make all of us poorer, albeit deliberately. 

It is a budget that will increase inequality and make the population poorer, and this will have grave consequences for the country. Thus, without further action, the situation risks becoming long-term and a living hell for many of our people.

How does President Barrow understand the unique combinations of social, economic, political, social, and ecological crises in the country remain a question?

Does the president and the gamut of his government have ideas about economic, social, and political reforms with the explicit aim of systemic transformation?

Nevertheless, the political buffoonery, the lack of clear policy direction, the condescending remarks, personality politics, taking Gambians for granted, and tale-telling seem to be the policy toolbox of President Barrow's. 

This sounds funny, but it summed up the tragicomedy we are wallowing in as a country, with no way back or forward. 

There is clearly a gaping hole at the centre of our politics, which should be filled with ideas as tools to dictate our political interactions. 

Our politics feels surreal and inadequate. This is largely because our president has no idea and solution other than reverting to dictator Jammeh’s rule book. 

This led the president further towards the authoritarian fantasies of the dictator Jammeh’s era.

But, unfortunately, for Barrow, Gambia has changed and will never return to Jammeh era dictatorship.

He may surround himself with dictator Jammeh’s enablers, but he is not Jammeh and Jammeh style authoritarian governments will not happen in the Gambia. 

But after establishing the unfitness of president Barrow for office, which is never a secret, we still have a line up of fig-leaves of so-called well-intentioned academics - and there are no shortage of such apologists in the Gambia, unfortunately who because of selfishness, aid and abate president Barrow to continue destroying our country. 

Despite President Barrow’s character flaws, administrative incompetence, and unequal to the serious challenges the country faces, with deception, they portray falsely that the president is the best man for the top job.

What do such apologists believe in? Incurably debased by self-interest, disloyal to almost everyone, including the country but themselves. 

Political selfishness is killing the country; it is the basis of our problem. The country’s interests become merely a pretext for individual selfishness.

However, reality will eventually catch up with our indifference and oppressive silence to the sorry plight of the country sooner than later.

With our indifference, our silence and inaction, what terminal damage this moribund government will do in another one year to destroy the fabrics of our country does not bear contemplating.  

Instead of arming himself with credible and principled policy gurus with intellectual heft, who could egged on the president to fight injustice, corruption, cost of living crisis, good governance, and consider the plight of victims of Jammeh’s era.

Alas, the president succumbed to the behest of spin doctors gleaned from dictator Jammeh’s enablers. These are a bunch of good for nothing but public division, private selfishness, and a cult of greedy people.

These are the kind of people overcrowding our State House as political, economic, and social advisers to the president in order to shape the trajectory of the country.

But worst of all - the lack of empathy for the poor and powerless who thought the people they trusted leadership with were half-decent human beings is unimaginable. 

Their satisfaction is to pilfer the country of any meagre resources to satisfy their insatiable individual selfish needs.

In their twisted minds, they think that is the primary purpose of life. And if other people get in the way, they are simply obstructions.

Thus, to see our so-called educated Gambians cringing, crouching, and crawling towards President Barrow’s NPP for selfishness, lack of ethics, and principle, is the highest of monumental betrayal of the country. 

However, it is only a politics of principles and consensus that can be measured to the myriad of challenges our country faces.

It is possible to disagree passionately but civilly. After all, the ability to disagree without personal rancour remains a vital cornerstone of democracy. 

Our sad situation as a country demonstrates that politics without ideas may be possible, but not necessarily desirable either for country or those in power.

It will be a height of selfishness and betrayal to continue on a self-destructive path of indifference. And allow this government by a sleeping bus driver, lurching around aimlessly to no man's land to crash with us. 

Editors note: Ebrima Scattred Janneh “EB” is the Anchor of The Dialogue With The Youths Show on Gunjuronline TV. Views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of

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Copyright: 2017 - 2022 | GunjurOnline™
Copyright: 2017 - 2022 | GunjurOnline™
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